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Image of Helen Coleman
Image of Helen Coleman

Introducing our risk management team: Helen Coleman

In the latest in our series introducing members of A&O Consulting's risk team, we meet Helen Coleman, a senior consultant specialising in cybersecurity and data protection.

Helen Coleman joined A&O Consulting in late 2022 from one of the world’s largest professional services firms, and brings a wealth of experience in delivering non-financial risk and regulatory compliance programmes. Her expertise is diverse and covers various areas of US and European regulation including data protection, cyber and physical security, depositor protection, recovery and resolution, and stress testing.

In her previous role, Helen was managing a multi-year supplier security assurance programme for a public sector client in relation to the handling of classified information, and is keen to continue supporting clients with their cybersecurity and data protection challenges at A&O.

"The cybersecurity and data protection landscape is evolving at a greater speed and scale than ever before, and organisations are challenged with continually adapting their security frameworks to respond to increasingly sophisticated threats and a heightened regulatory focus” says Helen, adding that “with the rise in international tensions, the need for organisations to continue strengthening their security posture in response to external threats should remain a key priority”.

Helen is excited by the opportunities that lie ahead, particularly leveraging the complementary offerings between A&O Consulting and A&O's global legal teams to deliver effective and impactful results for clients.

"Consultants and lawyers have different, yet complementary, expertise and ways of working that can provide clients with a holistic and potentially transformative way of addressing their challenges,” she says.

Another significant area of Helen's work centres around supporting clients on their journey to achieving regulatory compliance.

She previously spent time working with a Tier 1 bank on the EU's Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive where she helped map the bank's obligations under the directive and supporting local legislation across multiple business lines and functions, and then undertook design and operational effectiveness testing to assess the appropriateness of key controls to comply with regulatory requirements.

She was subsequently seconded to the bank for an extended period to support a programme of remediation to meet the requirements and enhance the overall control framework, deepening her industry experience.

Helen also brings a wealth of experience in data privacy and protection, having worked with clients across multiple industries to assess their levels of compliance with GDPR requirements, provide remedial advice and support their implementation efforts.

"Often it is about taking a pragmatic and risk-based approach to compliance work," says Helen. “Clients want to understand what presents the greatest risk to their business and how they can allocate their resources in the most effective and efficient manner. We work closely with them to understand what is most important to them, the level of risk they are willing to accept, and what their key areas of focus should be.”

Looking ahead, the opportunity presented by A&O's broader tech expertise is another area that Helen is keen to explore. “I’ve seen first-hand in my previous roles the meaningful impact that RegTech can have for clients in areas like obligation management, not least in terms of the efficiencies and scalability it can bring,” says Helen.

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